A Choice

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They walked in the road because the pavement was thin and there were motorbikes and cars parked on what little pavement there was. The other tourists did the same and the bikes and the cars that went past stayed a distance away from them. It was sunny and they both sweated. The locals didn’t walk during the day because it was so hot. The locals only waited in their restaurants and shops for the tourists. They walked along the road hand in hand. They wore bags that they’d bought together at the night market in the last city they’d visited.

“This is it,” she said.

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Charity

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Everything was going well, in a traditional way.

He had interviewed for a job and got the job; struggled to start with, then done better, then begun to excel. In the office he was liked, and his work was good, and it was soon recognised. Promotion followed, then another promotion a few months later, and then he thought he had the money to leave his parents’ home and move to the city.

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The Present

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Getting up and out of bed as quickly as possible was something Josh had worked on through necessity. He executed it well this morning, estimating that it took him 30 seconds to turn off his alarm, have a swig of water and stand up; then a further minute to take off his pyjamas and put on his running gear. Waking the cat and letting her out slowed him, but still he was out of the house less than five minutes after his alarm went off.

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The Florist

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Just before you get to the big square with the fountain in the middle, the one where the banks have their offices, there is a street. On the street – before the pharmacist, the grocery, the sandwich place and the health club – is a little shop. A black sign hangs over the entrance, reading ‘Florist’. The sign is black, the writing white. The edges of the shop around the windows are grey. From the outside the shop looks tiny. Look through the windows and you’ll see the shelves and the edges of the floor and the counter are overflowing with flowers. Continue reading

Don’t Go – Complete

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Robert Dunby had been awake long before the alarm clock started beeping at six in the morning. He turned it off and got up, his heartbeat raised already. He went into the ensuite to take a shower and brush his teeth, then walked downstairs with a towel around his waist and picked up his uniform from the top of the ironing board. Barbara was stirring as he got back to the bedroom. He laid the uniform down carefully on the bed and kissed her on her forehead. Continue reading